Using Office 365 Support

Office 365 help series – Using Office 365 Support Getting help with Office 365 Before contacting Office 365 Support: login to Office 365 admin to check for known Office 365 issues – see section 3 below check your computer network cables or wireless connections are connected and operational reboot your router and check if your ISP is dealing with network issues that might be affecting you ISPs can throttle email for business users who subscribe to residential services – check status with your ISP take screen shots to fully illustrate your issue document circumstances/symptoms, noting recent installations, updates, or operating system changes Do not contact Microsoft until you have checked these details. Microsoft may not be able to help you until you verify these points first. Also, Microsoft will not be able to help with problems caused by third party applications, operating systems, or hardware. Exchange email often poses special support problems. If in doubt, contact ComStat.uk for help. Premium clients should use their dedicated number for accelerated support. Toggle through the sections below to find out more about the Office 365 Support dashboard. 1. Login to Office 365 Admin To open a support ticket for Exchange email, Skype for Business, Sharepoint, Sway, and other utilities: login to https://portal.office.com pull down the tile menu click open the admin tile:   2. Opening Support Dashboard From the Office 365 dashboard – see screen shot below – you can preview existing Office 365 issues under management and you can click open support or new service request to register new help requests. Also, you can use the dashboard to monitor existing support tickets.   3. Selecting Support Option Before choosing which kind of ticket you need to... read more

Webmail goes offline

For business users who want to send and receive email with the simplicity that comes with Windows Live (formerly Hotmail) and GMail, but without the dreary advertising, Office 365’s Outlook Web Access (OWA) comes with simplicity, no ads, and the same tools available to the corporate world that makes OWA a serious alternative to Outlook for Desktop. Mentioning Outlook stirs memories of an awkward email client that is too complicated to use and impossible to back up. Nor is there a shortage of clients who have worn out two buttons in Outlook – check mail, and send: Many users are only interested in email; calendars, tasks, contacts, etc. are just bloat. If any of this sounds familiar to you, you are not in the alone, and something that many people have hoped for which provides an advertising-free webmail service for commercial use is available to Office 365 users – Outlook Web Access, or OWA. OWA is the portal for Microsoft’s Office 365. OWA is a web version of Outlook for Desktop which provides to Exchange Email, a service providing 50 GB of email per user account which can be synced across 5 devices – including sent items, which you will never see with POP accounts. Calendars, contacts, and more are all there too, albeit ring-fenced from email. although they are bound to be there. OWA is Microsoft Exchange. Importantly, whereas Google users expose their email to data mining, Exchange email is a secure content system that restricts access to “your eyes only”. Among other reasons, this privacy feature is why Exchange email is used almost overwhelmingly in commerce. Perhaps... read more

Email blacklisting

IP blacklisting happens when an email sent to a recipient is returned with an error message that includes the terse statement: error 550: Message rejected due to sender IP reputation ([xx.xx.xx.xx]) A “Blacklist”, more properly called a “DNS-based Blackhole List”, is a real-time database that uses criteria to determine if an IP address is sending email that could be considered spam. There are over a hundred influential public blacklists including Spamhaus, Barracuda Reputation Block List, and SpamCop. They all have their own criteria for accepting inbound mail and all can seriously impair email delivery. Perversely, blacklisting happens when an important email addressed to an important customer or supplier is returned and, worse, all subsequent messages are returned, followed by a contagion that spreads to effective paralysis.   Initially, users call their email supplier for help. However, the supplier has limited options. For instance, email was being despatched, and in one sense the “error 550” delivery failure message proves that the sender’s equipment worked well enough to have sent the email in the first place. How does blacklisting happen? The problem lies with the IP address associated with the sender’s email. Email is routed using IP addresses. Once, engineers imagined the number of  IP addresses using “version” 4 would be impossible to consume. However, as the “Internet of things” continues to grow, “IPv4” faces a crunch. There are not enough IP addresses using the IPv4 convention to supply all devices with unique values, future growth notwithstanding. To keep costs down, engineers use techniques to delegate individual public IP addresses to cover several users. This has become a vulnerability. Larger organisations... read more